Cross-Training Allows Two Community Colleges to Do More with Less

Lynn Russo Whylly's picture
Thursday, January 24, 2013

With budgets still tight and a workforce still lean, some higher ed institutions are applying an old approach that allows them to do more with less.

Cross-training employees, or training them to perform key tasks of a coworker’s job, is nothing new. Perhaps it’s never more appreciated than when employees take vacations, become ill, work on special projects, or quit their job.

While there are many benefits of cross-training, it’s not easy finding examples of it on campuses, with the exception of student service centers. One reason: It requires a lot of time and resources. Some departments are short-staffed and employees are overwhelmed with work. Yet, cross-training needs to be considered as an investment to help schools become more efficient in delivering customer service, completing projects, recruiting and retaining employees, or exposing those seeking career advancement and growth.